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RESOLUTION 88-12

NIAGARA FRONTIER TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE

ACCESSIBLE BUS SERVICE POLICY

WHEREAS, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Committee has been designated by the Governor of New York State as the Metropolitan Planning Organization responsible, together with the State, for the comprehensive, continuous, cooperative transportation planning process for the Niagara Frontier Region; and

WHEREAS, Subpart of the Federal Department of Transportation's Regulations implementing Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 mandated accessible bus service in accordance with a Transition Plan approved by the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO); and WHEREAS, the NETC's Transition Plan was adopted on June 24, 1980 with the so-called three-year plan identified as the mode of compliance with the Program Accessibility Requirements; and WHEREAS, the United States Appeals Court subsequently ruled that the Federal DOT's Section 504 Regulations exceeded the statutory authority of the Secretary of Transportation; and WHEREAS, the NFTC's endorsement of a

one-half fleet accessible bus policy was taken reluctantly since studies had shown demand-responsive service to be more effective than accessible bus service in improving mobility for severely handicapped persons; and WHEREAS, the Secretary of Transportation issued new Regulations on July 20, 1981 which superseded Subpart E of the DOT's 504 Regulations; and WHEREAS, the new rules rescinded the accessible bus mandate and reverted to locally defined special efforts for the elderly and the handicapped; and WHEREAS, the NETC on March 11, 1982, rescinded its 1980 Resolution, endorsing instead half-fleet accessible policy, to be accomplished via new bus procurements, as the mode of compliance with revised Federal regulations; and WHEREAS, the present administration has sought a phase-out of Federal transit operating assistance; and WHEREAS, local governments with limited financial resources are unable to finance demand-responsive services for the handicapped without Federal financial assistance; and

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WHEREAS, now that NETA's bus fleet has reached the goal of being 50% list-equipped, it is evident that there are many limitations in terms of scheduling, availability of liftequipped buses, assignment to routes, etc.; and WHEREAS, these operation problems limit the effectiveness of the Accessible Bus Program; and

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WHEREAS, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority's
Board of Commissioners,

June
13,
1988,

adopted resolution recommending to the NETC that all future new transit bus procurements include lifts for non-ambulatory handicapped persons in order to alleviate current scheduling problems, facilitate the allocation of accessible buses to urban transit routes, and improve mobility for the disabled in the two-county service area; now

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THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the NETC hereby rescinds its previous resolutions this question and adopts herewith the NETA's recommendation that all future new transit bus procurements include wheelchair lifts; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the NETC will consider implementing demand-responsive service in accordance with the service characteristics as defined in the NETC Resolution of May 3, 1979, when necessary funds from any source other than local Governments become available to cover this program.

NOV 1988

Resolved this day

Robehl Qussell

BY

Robert J. Russell
Secretary
NFTC

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When using NETA Metro rail surface stations, all blind and visually impaired riders should use the hand rail located on the right side to guide themselves up the ramp to position themselves to enter the lead car. when deboarding from the lead car, please use the same door to exit in order to position oneself to use the handrail located on the left side; the possible exception being Auditorium Station, where assistance from the operator may be requested.

In addition, all NFTA Metro Rail Stations (both surface and underground) are equipped with a tactile warning strip on the platform surface to serve as a safety marker. This warning strip was designed in such a manner as to be identifiable by blind and visually impaired patrons. All transit riders should use caution when approaching the platform edge.

1.

Policy for Wheelchairs on Trains (effective 5/8/89)

Wheelchair users should be encouraged to ride immediately behind the lead cab and to use tie-down devices, but they are not required to do SO. However, wheelchair must not be located where they block the aisle or pose hazards to other riders.

2.

Brochures and signage in stations will

be modificd to indicate that wheelchair users are encouraged (not required) to ride behind the lead cab

and to

tie-down devices. Signage will note that only 'the first door of the first car is accessible at Mall stations.

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3.

Operators will provide assistance to

wheelchair users only when they locate themselves immediately behind the lead cab and only

when assistance is requested or is obviously necessary All employees will be advised of this change in policy,

as will

be NFTA's Advisory Committee on the Disabled. Standard Operating Procedure 107.6 will

revised as appropriate and reissued.

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PREPARED COMMENTS OF

ELLEN D. DALY,

LEGISLATIVE ANALYST

OF THE PRESIDENT'S

COMMITTEE ON EMPLOYMENT

OF PEOPLE WITH DISABBILITIES

BEFORE THE HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE

ON SURFACE TRANSPORTATION

SEPTEMBER 20, 1989

Mr. Chairman, my name is Ellen Daly.

I am a Legislative

Analyst with the President's Committee on Employment of People

with Disabilities.

Before I joined the President's Committee I was the Executive

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Prior to my move in February 1983 to Madison, I resided and

worked in Milwaukee County and was very much involved in the

Milwaukee County transportation scene as it pertained to people

with disabilities.

I was

an appointed member of the Milwaukee

County 504 Transportation Advisory Committee, which came about following a 1975 law suit which sought to require accessible

public transportation services.

I am pleased to be here today to share with this committee what

I have learned over the last fifteen years about the

transportation needs of our citizens with disabilities.

They

need to be able to choose the method of transportation that

best suits them. For a small percentage of people paratransit is the only system that will meet their needs. But, for a

great many of the disabled population an accessible mainline

system can fully meet transit needs.

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